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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Homemade Strawberry Jam

I've never made homemade strawberry jam before. Well, I did once. I helped my mom make it years ago and barely remembered anything about it. I never grew up eating homemade jam every summer or anything like that. I've always wanted to, though. I'm all about homemade. If you know me at all, you know I'm just dying to figure out how to make anything and everything on my own. From clothes to condiments, I try to recreate recipes and patterns on my own. Strawberry jam is a great place to start when it comes to canning. So, my mother and I spent an evening in the kitchen together (which rarely happens, might I add) and ended up making some delicious jam and more importantly some memories. It is quite a beautiful process if you ask me.
 I just wanted to add one more little disclaimer before I really begin this post. This is not an instructional post. If you are reading this because you want to learn how to make jam, please skim the photos and move onto a more educational blog post. If you are just stopping by to appreciate the beauty of mother nature's fruit and are looking for a little inspiration, you are in the right place. This was my first time making it, like I said. We got our "recipe" for canning from a Betty Crocker cook book. Pick up any old cook book you having laying around and I'm sure they will have a similar recipe. And with no further ado, the photos.

First, my mother washed the berries.

Then, we cut them all up into pieces and placed them in a big bowl. Their color is brilliant.

At this point, my Dad showed us how to really mash them up well. He wanted us to use the counter top chopper. We insisted on mashing them by hand.

Then, we brought them to a rolling boil. Adding in all the other fancy ingredients like lemon juice, sugar and pectin. 

We prepared our army of mason jars, hot out of the dishwasher. I love this ancient funnel. Apparently, my Grandma used it all the time. Nothing makes me feel close to my Grandma like canning, making her recipes and crocheting.

We skimmed all the froth off.

And poured the boiling hot jam into the mason jars. I made quite the mess.

Then, my mother cleaned up my mess and told me how important it was to make sure the jars are clean so they seal properly.

After that, we flipped them all upside down and waited about 45 minutes. 

We flipped them back over and pressed on the lid to make sure they sealed correctly. If they didn't, we flipped them back over and waited a bit longer. This jar is my absolute favorite. I think it is adorable and can't wait to use it for other things.

After all the jam cooled, I smacked some labels on them and taste tested our work. The jam is delicious, if I do say so myself. We already went through that little jar that I said was my favorite. Alec has been eating it for lunch on his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for two weeks. I've been spreading it on toasted english muffins. Yum. 

Have you made your own jam? 

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